Best Substitutes for Flour in a Recipe!

Looking to substitute your plain old baking flour? Flour has ended up with a bad rap in most kitchens. But it’s a staple in so many recipes. How do we choose the best alternative? And how do we substitute flour in a recipe?

Keep reading for all the details.

Why substitute flour?

A flour alternative is a great option if you’re trying to make a traditional recipe healthier. It’s also great if you want to use a type of flour you already have in the pantry.

If you’re baking for someone with a specific food allergy, it’s is an easy way to change a recipe as needed. I bet you’ve got at least one of these great alternatives hanging around in the pantry. Free it from the back of the cabinet, and let’s get baking!

I’m sharing my top flour alternatives you can substitute in virtually any recipe.

Almond Flour

Almonds are a great substitute for traditional flour. Almond flour can also be labelled almond meal. These are essentially the same thing. Almond flour is produced using blanched almonds, which are almonds with the skin removed. But Almond meal is made using either blanched or unblanched almonds.

You can buy pre-ground almond flour/almond meal at the grocery store, or make your own.

To make your own:

Use whole almonds or almond slices (whatever you have in the pantry or whatever is on sale at the grocery store). Pulse it through a food processor until the almonds have a fine consistency. 

Using almond meal in your favorite baked goods recipes will add a subtle, nutty flavor. Plus, extra nutrition. A 1/4 cup of Almond Flour contains 6 g protein, 3 g fiber, 60 mg calcium, plus iron and magnesium.

You can substitute almond flour in any recipe. It’s a delicious choice when used in muffins or cookies, plus you can use it as a breadcrumb substitute too. 

How to adjust the recipe:  

You can replace up to 50% of regular flour with almond meal or almond flour without any issue.

One important thing to keep in mind, is that the more almond flour you substitute into a recipe, the more liquid you need to add. Almond meal tends to be a bit drier and is more absorbent than regular flour.

Go slow with the liquid, but you will need to add more to get the right consistency.

Oat Flour

Oat flour is another great option. You can buy large bags of oats at the grocery store, or in bulk at a place like Costco.

Be sure you are purchasing regular rolled oats, and not steel cut (or any other slow-cook) type of oats. 

To make oat flour: Pulse dry oats in a food processor until they reach the desired ‘powder like’ consistency.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can process the oats through a coffee grinder to get the right texture.

Choosing oat flour for your recipe will keep the flavor and consistency the same as if you used regular flour. Baked goods remain light and fluffy and the oats do not impact the taste!

Oat flour has all the benefits that you’ve come to associate with a bowl of oatmeal! It’s packed with fiber to help stabilize blood glucose levels and help you feel full longer.

Plus, regular consumption of oats has been shown to decrease cholesterol.

How to adjust the recipe: 

For all recipes you can substitute oat flour for traditional flour in a 1:1 ratio. It is safe to completely substitute oat flour for all the traditional flour in your recipe. 

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is a fun and tropical alternative to regular baking flour. It’s great for gluten sensitivities too!
We love to make recipes and substitute coconut flour in the summer months. It adds a touch of the tropics via the coconut flavor to all our muffins, cupcakes and breads.

To make coconut flour: Use dried, unsweetened coconut flakes.Pulse them through a food processor until they are a flour like consistency. 

Coconut flour is an excellent substitute for those with a gluten allergy. But, if you’re buying premade coconut flour, be sure it isn’t processed on equipment that processes gluten containing foods.

*It will usually say this as a disclaimer somewhere on the package. So if you have a true gluten allergy or are baking for someone who has a gluten sensitivity, double check.

Coconut flour is a great source of fiber and low in carbs. It adds a rich texture and natural sweetness to any baked goods and is also paleo friendly. 

How to adjust the recipe: 

For every 1 cup of regular flour in a recipe, substitute in 1/4 cup of coconut flour. Coconut flour also has a high absorbency so you may find you need to add more liquid to your recipe as you go.

Quinoa Flour 

This superfood is a great flour substitute. It’s a source of complete proteins, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Plus, it’s high in dietary fiber. 

You can find quinoa flour on the shelves at the local grocery stores, or you can make your own. 
To make quinoa flour: Add dried, uncooked quinoa to a food processor or coffee grinder and blend until you get that fluffy flour texture.

Quinoa flour is another solid choice for those eating a gluten free diet. It also adds a slightly nutty flavor to the recipe and I love to use it in waffle, pancake, or flatbread recipes.

I would avoid using it in any yeast-type breads as it may not rise as well as traditional flour.

How to adjust the recipe (this depends on what you are making):

If you are making muffins, cupcakes or other light and airy baked goods:Replace half of the regular flour in a recipe with quinoa flour in a 1:1 ratio.

If you are making more dense recipes, like pancakes or flatbreads:You can replace all the flour in a recipe in a 1:1 ratio with quinoa flour. 

Start with a smaller amount of quinoa flour at first. Then work up to a complete substitution once you know how the recipe will behave. 

Hemp Flour:

Hemp Seed Flour is another great substitute. It’s a low sugar option that also contains calcium.This one you should buy from a grocery store or specialty shop because it’s challenging to make at home.

Making your own: Hemp seeds have a high oil content and do not easily blend or process into flour. Instead, they become a paste or butter like consistency when blended.

So what’s the trick for making Hemp Flour? You have to get rid of the oil in the hemp seed, and then the remaining product can be processed into flour.

I don’t know how to do this, and I haven’t tried it at home, so I recommend purchasing hemp flour from a trusted retailer.

Hemp flour is gluten free, but it is dense and does not rise. So it shines as a flour substitute for items such as hard crackers or flat breads.

How to adjust the recipe: 

Because hemp flour is dense and does not rise, only substitute about 25% of the amount of needed flour in a recipe. You will still need to use traditional flours (or one of the alternatives here) in your recipe.

This way the baked goods will still rise and turn out as expected.  

Protein Powder

So this one isn’t a ‘flour’ but it’s a great substitute to add to a recipe. If you want to increase the protein or nutrition content of your baking, it’s possible with this.

This is also a great tip if you ended up buying a protein powder that you didn’t love. You don’t have to throw it away; you can bake with it! Protein powders don’t usually affect the taste of the final product. So you can get creative with the protein powder flavor used.

Making your own: I wouldn’t opt for making your own protein powder. That process would be a tad complicated for my simple kitchen skills! Use whatever you already have in the pantry.

How to adjust the recipe:

You can substitute half of the amount of flour in a recipe for protein powder. 

So if a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour: Use 1/2 cup of flour (any of the above alternatives are great choices) and 1/2 cup of the protein powder. So easy!

I hope this article gives you some ideas for how to switch up your baking! And if you’re looking for a fun recipe to try out your new flour substitution tips, try this one!

If you’re looking to make healthier choices, bake for someone with food sensitivities, or go through what’s left in your pantry, this article will help.

Be sure to let me know your favorite flour substitute and what you make with it! And be sure to join us in the facebook group!

In wellness,


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